The Eixample (pronounced [əˈʃamplə]; Catalan for 'expansion' or 'Expansion District') is a district of Barcelona between the old city (Ciutat Vella) and what were once surrounding small towns (Sants, Gràcia, Sant Andreu etc.), constructed in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Its population was 262,000 at the last census (2005).[1]

Aerial view of the Eixample
Aerial view of the Eixample
Location of the Eixample within Barcelona
Location of the Eixample within Barcelona
Coordinates: 41°23′27″N 2°09′47″E / 41.39083°N 2.16306°ECoordinates: 41°23′27″N 2°09′47″E / 41.39083°N 2.16306°E
Country Spain
Autonomous Community Catalonia
NeighbourhoodsFort Pienc, Sagrada Família, Dreta de l'Eixample, L'Antiga Esquerra de l'Eixample, La Nova Esquerra de l'Eixample, Sant Antoni
 • Total7.48 km2 (2.89 sq mi)
 • Total266,874
 • Density36,000/km2 (92,000/sq mi)
Seu del districte de l'Eixample
District hall.
Ensanche - eixample - Barcelona
Original Eixample concept from 1859
Sagrada Familia Eixample from Montjuic
Part of Eixample and Sagrada Família, viewed from Montjuic, June 2006
Eixample street & block layout

Architecture and design

The Eixample is characterized by long straight streets, a strict grid pattern crossed by wide avenues, and square blocks with chamfered corners (named illes in Catalan, manzanas in Spanish).[2] This was a visionary, pioneering design by Ildefons Cerdà, who considered traffic and transport along with sunlight and ventilation in coming up with his characteristic octagonal blocks, where the streets broaden at every intersection making for greater visibility, better ventilation and (today) some short-term parking areas. The grid pattern remains as a hallmark of Barcelona, but many of his other provisions were ignored: the four sides of the blocks and the inner space were built instead of the planned two or three sides around a garden; the streets were narrower; only one of the two diagonal avenues was carried out; the inhabitants were of a higher class than the mixed composition dreamed of by Cerdà.[2] The important needs of the inhabitants were incorporated into his plan, which called for markets, schools, hospitals every so many blocks. Today, most of the markets remain open in the spots they have been from the beginning.

Some parts of the Eixample were influenced by Modernista architects, chief among whom was Antoni Gaudí. His work in the Eixample includes the Casa Milà (nicknamed La Pedrera) and the Casa Batlló, both of which are on the wide Passeig de Gràcia, as well as the Sagrada Família. Other architects who made highly significant, and certainly more numerous, contributions to giving the Eixample its characteristic appearance include Josep Puig i Cadafalch, Josep Domènech i Estapà, Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas and perhaps above all Enric Sagnier i Villavecchia, responsible for a total of over 500 buildings in the city (not all of them in the Eixample).[3]

The Casa Terrades, better known as Casa de les Punxes, is replete with Mediaeval allusions that stands at the junction of Av. Diagonal with Carrer Rosselló. It was built in 1903–1905 by the Modernista architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch, who used Nordic Gothic and Spanish Plateresque resources side by side, along with traditional Catalan motifs.[4]

The Casa Batlló is part of a block called the Illa de la Discòrdia, along with two other notable Modernista works, Lluís Domènech i Montaner's Casa Lleó Morera and Josep Puig i Cadafalch's Casa Amatller. The block is so named due to the visual clash between the buildings; its Spanish name, Manzana de la Discordia, is also a pun on Eris's Apple of Discord - manzana means both "apple" and "city block".


There are six administrative neighborhoods:

The district is often divided for practical purposes in two: Esquerra de l'Eixample and Dreta de l'Eixample (left and right sides of Eixample, respectively). Traditionally and officially it is divided into five neighbourhoods. These are, in addition to the areas already mentioned, Sant Antoni, Sagrada Família and Fort Pienc, also known as Fort Pius. The latter has recently become notable for the number of Asian, chiefly Chinese residents and the proliferation of Asian shops.

Some parts of Eixample are rather well-to-do neighbourhoods, especially around the central areas such as Passeig de Gràcia, Rambla de Catalunya and the Avinguda Gaudi/Sagrada Familia vicinity, but it also contains many decaying buildings inhabited by lonely aged tenants on the verge of poverty, especially in the fringe areas. It also has a large proportion of immigrant population.

Main thoroughfares

Passeig de Gràcia connects the central Plaça Catalunya to the old town of Gràcia, while Avinguda Diagonal cuts across the grid diagonally and Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes runs across the entire city from southwest to northeast.

Other wide avenues in the area include Carrer d'Aragó, Carrer de Balmes and Passeig de Sant Joan.


There is a Japanese library in Eixample that opened in 1992. Most of the patrons are Japanese, though locals may also use the facilities. The library is located inside a flat.[5]

See also


  1. ^ Variations in Population Density within Barcelona. Retrieved 18 September 2016
  2. ^ a b Boeing, G. (2016). "Honolulu Rail Transit: International Lessons in Linking Form, Design, and Transportation". Planext. 2: 28–47. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
  3. ^ Barjau, Santi: Enric Sagnier, Labor, Barcelona, 1992. ISBN 84-335-4802-6
  4. ^ Hernàndez-Cros, Josep Emili (ed.). Catàleg del Patrimoni Arquitectònic Històrico-Artístic de la Ciutat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Ajuntament de Barcelona, 1987
  5. ^ Fukuda, Makiko (June 2010), "Supervivència de la colònia japonesa a Catalunya: l'organització interna i la seva implicació en l'ecosistema lingüístic català", Revista de Llengua i Dret (53): 213–241 (Archive) English abstract available -- "Un altre punt de trobada de la colònia japonesa a Catalunya és una biblioteca que es troba en un pis de l’Eixample. Va ser creada l’any 1992 per uns voluntaris japonesos que vivien a Barcelona, amb la finalitat de fomentar l’intercanvi cultural entre Espanya i el Japó. La biblioteca està oberta també a la població local, però la majoria dels usuaris són japonesos, sobretot els estudiants, les famílies dels treballadors i els jubilats, tant de les zones pròximes a Barcelona com de la ciutat."

External links

Barcelona Metro line 3

— Line 3, currently known as Zona Universitària – Trinitat Nova, coloured green and often simply referred to as Línia verda ("Green line"), is a metro line in Barcelona operated by TMB, and therefore part of the fare-integrated ATM transport network of the urban region. This V-shaped line is the result of the junction of two related lines: the original L3 and L3B, in 1982. The central section of L3 has the city's oldest metro stations, built in the mid-1920s, with additions almost every decade since then. All of L3 stations are underground.

Its termini as of 2008 are Zona Universitària, which serves the University of Barcelona campus located in the western end Avinguda Diagonal in the Les Corts district, and Trinitat Nova in Nou Barris. There are plans for it to be extended from Trinitat Nova to Trinitat Vella, for connection with Line 1, and possibly further south of Zona Universitària, where it would join new lines L9 and L10.

Barcelona Metro line 4

— Line 4, also known as Trinitat Nova – La Pau, usually called "línia groga" (yellow line), is a line in the Barcelona Metro network operated by TMB, and part of the ATM fare-integrated transport network. It serves the northern districts of the city, and it is being extended to the new major metro and rail stations Estació de la Sagrera and Sagrera-Meridiana.

Barcelona Metro line 5

— Line 5, currently known as Cornellà Centre - Vall d'Hebron, its termini, and often called "Línia Blava" (Blue line), is line belonging to the Barcelona Metro network operated by TMB, and part of the ATM fare-integrated transport network.

Casa Amatller

Casa Amatller (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈkazə əməˈʎːe]) is a building in the Modernisme style in Barcelona, designed by Josep Puig i Cadafalch. Along with Casa Batlló and Casa Lleó-Morera, it makes up the three most important buildings in Barcelona's famous Illa de la Discòrdia ("Block of Discord"), noted for its unique modernist buildings.

The building was originally designed as a residence for chocolatier Antoni Amatller and was constructed between 1898 and 1900.

Casa Lleó Morera

The Casa Lleó Morera (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈkazə ʎəˈo muˈɾeɾə]) is a building designed by noted modernisme architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, located at Passeig de Gràcia 35 in the Eixample district of Barcelona. In 1902 Francesca Morera assigned Lluís Domènech i Montaner to remodel ancient "casa Rocamora", built in 1864. She died in 1904, and the building was named after her son, Albert Lleó i Morera. The building is located on the corner of Carrer del Consell de Cent, and is one of the three important buildings of Barcelona's Illa de la Discòrdia ("Block of Discord"), and it is the only building of the block awarded Barcelona's town council's Arts Building Annual Award (Concurso anual de edificios artísticos), obtained in 1906. The building lost some of its most representative elements, such as the tempietto on its top (now restored) and the ground floor and mezzanine's architectural sculpture.

The building is also known as the residence of Cuban-Catalan photographer Pau Audouard.

Dreta de l'Eixample

Dreta de l'Eixample (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈdɾɛtə ðə ləˈʃamplə]) is a neighborhood in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain). It is located east (visualised as dreta or "right") of Carrer de Balmes. It includes Plaça de Catalunya, the centre of the city, and the upscale streets Rambla de Catalunya and Passeig de Gràcia. It is the bourgeois neighborhood of the city, which makes the majority of its population belong to the upper class of Barcelona. Dreta de L'Eixample is one of the most luxurious neighbors of Barcelona.

Fort Pienc

Fort Pienc (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈfɔɾ piˈɛŋ]) is a neighborhood in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Its name stems from a former military fortification which existed there until the 19th century called Fort Pius, Pienc is an adjective in Catalan meaning related to the name Pius. There has been a strong Chinese presence in the area since the 2000s. The Arc de Triomf is the main attraction in the area, located in Passeig de Lluís Companys-Passeig de Sant Joan, while L'Auditori is an important concert hall. The National Theatre of Catalonia is another of its cultural centres, as is the General Archive of the Crown of Aragon, near Parc de l'Estació del Nord. The General Catalana de Electricidad building is a fine piece of modernisme or local art nouveau architecture. La Monumental is the only extant bullring in the city.

Fundació Antoni Tàpies

The Fundació Antoni Tàpies (Catalan pronunciation: [fundəsiˈo ənˈtɔni ˈtapiəs], 'Antoni Tàpies Foundation') is a cultural center and museum, located in Carrer d'Aragó, in Barcelona, Catalonia. It is dedicated mainly to the life and works of the painter Antoni Tàpies.

The Fundació was created in 1984 by the artist Antoni Tàpies to promote the study and knowledge of modern and contemporary art. It combines the organisation of temporary exhibitions, symposia, lectures and film seasons with a range of publications to go with the activities and periodic shows of Tàpies' work.

The Fundació owns one of the most complete collections of Tàpies' work, mostly made up of donations by Antoni and Teresa Tàpies.

Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes

Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes ("Great Way of the Catalan Courts"), more simply known as Gran Via [ˈɡɾam ˈbi.ə], is one of Barcelona's major avenues. With a length of 13.1 km (8.1 mi), it is the longest street in Catalonia and the 2nd longest in Spain, after Gran Vía de la Manga, in La Manga del Mar Menor, but is the one with more street numbers in Spain.

L'Antiga Esquerra de l'Eixample

L'Antiga Esquerra de l'Eixample is a neighborhood in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain). Originally formed a single unit, called Esquerra de l'Eixample, with the current neighborhood la Nova Esquerra de l'Eixample.

La Monumental

The Plaza Monumental de Barcelona, often known simply as La Monumental (Catalan pronunciation: [lə munumənˈtal]), is a bullring in the city of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was the last bullfighting arena in commercial operation in Catalonia. It was inaugurated in 1914 under the name Plaza de El Sport and was soon expanded and given its current name in 1916. It is situated at the confluence of the Gran Via and Carrer Marina (Marina Street) in the Eixample district. It had a capacity of 19,582 within 26 rows of lines, boxes, and bleachers on the first floor inside and a superior barrage surrounding the building.

It was the last place in Catalonia where bullfights were held, since the Parliament of Catalonia passed a law banning bullfighting events on 28 July 2010 that came into force in 2012.It is owned by the Balañá family, who placed it under the control of the Casa Matilla, an organisation which manages a number of bullrings. The plaza is currently used for sporting, musical and circus events.

The building was originally built in the noucentista architectural style, the work of Manuel Joaquim Raspall i Mayol. The expansion work was done by Ignasi Mas i Morell and Domènec Sugrañes i Gras to give it its current facade, strongly influenced by Mudéjar and Byzantine architecture. It is one of the larger public arenas in Barcelona, with a capacity of 19,582 for bullfights or about 25,000 for events such as rock concerts (using part of the ring for spectators).

La Nova Esquerra de l'Eixample

La Nova Esquerra de l'Eixample is a neighborhood in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain). Originally it formed a single unit, called Esquerra de l'Eixample, with the current neighborhood l'Antiga Esquerra de l'Eixample.

Passeig de Gràcia, Barcelona

Passeig de Gràcia (Catalan pronunciation: [pəˈsɛdʒ də ˈɣɾasiə]) is one of the major avenues in Barcelona (Catalonia) and one of its most important shopping and business areas, containing several of the city's most celebrated pieces of architecture. It is located in the central part of Eixample, stretching from Plaça Catalunya to Carrer Gran de Gràcia.Passeig de Gràcia is regarded as the most expensive street in Barcelona and in Spain.

Plaça de Catalunya

Plaça de Catalunya (pronounced [ˈplasə ðə kətəˈluɲə], meaning in English "Catalonia Square"; sometimes referred to as Plaza de Cataluña, its Spanish name) is a large square in central Barcelona that is generally considered to be both its city centre and the place where the old city (see Barri Gòtic and Raval, in Ciutat Vella) and the 19th century-built Eixample meet.

Some of the city's most important streets and avenues meet at Plaça Catalunya: Passeig de Gràcia, Rambla de Catalunya, La Rambla or Portal de l'Àngel, in addition to Ronda de Sant Pere, Carrer de Vergara or Carrer de Pelai. The plaza occupies an area of about 50,000 square metres. It is especially known for its fountains and statues, its proximity to some of Barcelona's most popular attractions, and the flocks of pigeons that gather in the centre.

Rambla de Catalunya

Rambla de Catalunya (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈramblə ðə kətəˈluɲə]; Spanish: Rambla de Cataluña) is a major street in the Eixample district of central Barcelona. It is one of the city's trendiest streets, with many international fashion shops, and is lined with lime trees.The street stretches from Plaça de Catalunya to Avinguda Diagonal, a distance of some 1.3 kilometres (0.81 mi). It runs parallel to, and between, the Passeig de Gràcia and Carrer de Balmes. It can be seen as an extension into the Eixample of the famous La Rambla.

Sagrada Família (neighborhood)

Sagrada Família (Catalan pronunciation: [səˈɣɾaðə fəˈmiliə]) is a neighborhood in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain). Its name comes from the church of the Sagrada Família, work of Antoni Gaudí, which can be found in the center of the neighborhood.

Sant Antoni, Barcelona

Sant Antoni is a neighborhood in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain). Its non-official centre, the marketplace of the same name—designed by Antoni Rovira i Trias and built between 1872 and 1882—is one of the oldest and most popular in the city, especially with the secondhand book stalls that surround the building Sunday mornings. It is bordered by the neighbourhoods of the L'Antiga Esquerra de l'Eixample (on the other side of Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes), the Raval (on the other side of Ronda de Sant Antoni), and Poble Sec (on the other side of Avinguda del Paral·lel). The streets of Sant Antoni follow the grid pattern prevalent in all of Eixample, except for a central thoroughfare, the Avinguda de Mistral, built on the site of an important medieval road which led out of Barcelona. Another well-known landmark of Sant Antoni is the bar called Els Tres Tombs, right next to the market.

Sant Joan Despí

Sant Joan Despí (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈsaɲ ʒuˈan dəsˈpi]; Old Catalan for "Saint John of the Pine") is a city and municipality located in the Baix Llobregat area (Barcelona province in Catalonia, Spain). It is situated on the left bank of the Llobregat river. Es is a dialectal form of the masculine article el, hence Despí would be rendered Del pi in standard Catalan.

Verdaguer (Barcelona Metro)

Verdaguer is a station in the Barcelona metro network, located under Plaça de Mossèn Jacint Verdaguer, in Eixample, named after the Catalan poet Jacint Verdaguer. It's served by L4 and L5.

It was opened in 1970, as L4 was extended from Urquinaona towards Joanic. The L5 part of the station opened in 1973. It can be accessed from Carrer de Provença, Avinguda Diagonal, Carrer de Girona and Passeig de Sant Joan. It was known as General Mola until 1982.

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